Japanese Kit Kat

  • There are over 300 varieties of Japanese Kit Kats. Here is a small sampling of the special Kit Kat flavors I was able to find in 2016.

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Some people collect stamps. Some collect baseball cards. I collect Japanese Kit Kats.

    For the past ten years, I’ve been growing my collection. To date, I have over 75 different Kit Kat boxes and packages. This is a portion of the loot from my recent Japan trip.

    If my luggage could fit more (and my wallet allowed), I would have purchased even MORE. It’s like Pokémon. I just have to catch them all!

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Japanese Kit Kat Collection

    It’s really difficult to collect food. It’s hard to save something that you want to eat. Sometimes I’ll buy two packages, one to eat and one to keep. But most of the time, they end up getting eaten and I just save the packaging. (What can I say? I love the branding and product design.)

    There are countless Kit Kat varieties in Japan. Each region of Japan has its own unique flavors that are popular to that area. There are also seasonal flavors for holidays and special occasions. While some flavors are staples (like matcha), most of them are only available for limited time and then are retired for the season.

    Flavors from top to bottom, left to right: Strawberry Cheesecake, Shinshu Apple, Amaou Strawberry, Beni-Imo* (purple sweet potato), Wa-Ichigo (Tochiotome strawberries), Rum Raisin*, Yokohama Edition Strawberry Cheesecake, Uji Matcha, Red Bean*, Wasabi, Otona no Amasa Green Tea, Maple Pancake*, Houjicha* (Kyoto roasted green tea, Otona no Amasa Black* (Dark Chocolate) [* indicates my favorite flavors]

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    What does Kit Kat mean?

    The English“Kit Kats” translates to “kitto katsu” in Japanese Katakana. This roughly translates to a gesture of good luck, literally meaning “you will surely win.”

    Asides from being a tasty little treat, Kit Kats have evolved to become a good luck charm. It’s not unusual to gift one to a friend before a test, an interview, etc. On the back of each package, there is a blank space to write little messages of encouragement and support.

    My Kit Kat obsession really flourished when I was a college student in Tokyo. Every weekend, I’d go all over the place in search of new flavors.

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Where to buy KitKats in Japan?

    KitKats are available at convenience stores (like FamilyMart, Lawsons) and markets.

    If you’re looking for seasonal specials and unique flavors, you’ll likely find the best selection at major train stations. Within the train stations, you’ll find gift shops selling boxes and boxes of KitKats.

    Airports gift shops also have a large selection of Kit Kats packaged to give as gifts and souvenirs.  However, if you want the super premium stuff, it’s best to visit a KitKat Chocolatory.

    KitKat Chocolatory:

    There are a handful of KitKat Chocolatory locations throughout Japan. The layout of these stores are similar to a Godiva Chocolate store. The chocolates are displayed like little treasures behind glass. They have a curated selection of flavors depending on the season.

    However, I must warn you. They’re quite expensive. I definitely had a little moment of sticker shock when I saw my bill.

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    Special Fruit & Tea KitKat Collection:

    During my visit, I was most interested in sampling the special Tea and Fruit collections.

    These KitKats are individually wrapped and boxed. And because they’re premium, they also come at a price.

    Though a bit expensive, I really enjoyed the tea collection. The flavors were spot on and very recognizable. As a tea lover, I was quite impressed.

    The flavors from top to bottom are: Black Tea, Oolong Tea, Genmaicha, Hojicha, and Gyokuro.

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    I was a bit more skeptical of the fruits collection. The passionfruit and yuzu were my favorites. The other three flavors kind of threw me off. As pretty as the colors looked, I prefer the taste of the real fruits.

    The flavors from top to bottom are: Passionfruit, Yuzu, Raspberry, Blueberry, and Strawberry.

    Japanese Kit Kats | the little epicurean

    I also tried the special flavors: Pistachio & Raspberry, Strawberry Maple, Butter, Green Tea & Kinako, and Orange Cocktail Noir.

    The standouts for me was the Butter and Orange Cocktail Noir. The butter smelled like freshly popped popcorn. It actually tasted like sweet cream butter, in a good way. As a fan of dark chocolate, I liked the Orange Cocktail Noir. It had a nice combination of sweet and bitter.

    Obviously these Kit Kat flavors are artificial. Some flavors like the teas use natural flavorings. I like to collect and taste the different flavors.

    I love how Japanese Kit Kats attempt to replicate distinct, well known flavors and pack them into these little chocolate wafer candies.

    While these chocolates may not impress chocolate aficionados, I think they’re so fun!
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    Comments

    Lindsay

    This is amazing. Japan is next on our travel bucket list and I have a feeling most of what I’ll be bringing back is candy. :)

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Half of my luggage was dedicated to candy/snacks, miso and kombu! You’re bound to have a wonderful time when you visit Japan! :)

    Jen

    Hi Maryanne,
    WOW!! That was a lot of Kit Kats. I do agree that the Japanese put a lot of thoughts into their products and product designs. Thanks for sharing your collection. What a good way to start the weekends.
    – Jen –

    Meghan @ Cake 'n Knife

    Yet another amazing reason I HAVE to get to Japan next spring! These are way too much fun! I absolutely have to try that Butter flavor… 😍

      Maryanne Cabrera

      I just can’t get enough of Japan! All their food, snacks, and desserts get me so excited! :)

    Maddie

    I have been so curious with the note panel on the Kit Kat wrapper. Now I know, thank you!!! (Curiousity satisfied)
    When I was on our way to the province, there was this stopover shop that sells sweets from Japan and South Korea. This Kit Kat captured my eyes, know what the flavorway was? ~~ Japanese sake!

    I bought a piece because it’s what I can afford at that time. Haha. But when I was on my way back to the bus, I lost it. It must have slipped from my pocket while I was walking.

    I can’t find a store here in Baguio that sells that. I wish I could find one.

      Maryanne Cabrera

      AHH! I still need to find that Japanese Sake flavored Kitkat. Oh no, I’m sorry you lost your piece. I’m sure they sell fun KitKat flavors in Makati somewhere! :)

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